Fooling hitters

When I know that the hitter up is a good hitter. I usualy throw him a high slider that breaks down as a strike. THen I can do whatever I want, just keep him guessing. What does anyone else does on a first pitch to a good hitter?

UP and IN on the hands


'nuff said.

“Deception,” my pitching coach told me a long time ago. "A lot of what I do on the mound is just that—deception. Let me tell you a few things about it."
And he told me. He talked about allowing a batter to think you’re going to throw one pitch and then coming in with another. For instance: Most batters have a particular mind-set when they come to the plate. They’re thinking fast ball. They set themselves for a fast ball. So what do a lot of pitchers do? They throw a fast ball, often down the pipe, and the batter goes after it. Wham! off the wall for a double, at the very least. Wrong move. Give them a good breaking pitch—something like a knuckle-curve, which is notoriously difficult to hit, and your first pitch is strike one.
He talked about pitching “backwards”—starting off with the breaking stuff, getting an 0-2 or 1-2 count, then jamming them with a fast ball. Well—I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, but I had some pretty hard stuff, and I could use that. He talked about moving the ball around—high, low, inside, outside—and changing speeds (and he had to tell some pitchers he was working with more than once!). And he spoke of what they call nowadays “pitching to contact”, which is just another way of saying "get the ball over the plate and make the batters hit it—make them go after YOUR pitch, what you want them to hit."
And I listened, and I put all that into practice. And I got a lot of outs. :slight_smile:

Coming from a batters perspective deception is really they key. If you get a batter all thrown off in his head thats a good thing. Also try to pick up on things. I’ll give you an example of an at bat I won that I could have easily lost. The pitcher we were facing had a nice curve and he liked to throw it, first and second pitch this game were almost a guranteed curve if he was ahead. I’m a decent curveball hitter so I went in there sitting on his curve. First pitch called strike fastball. No problem I’ll get the curve now. Second pitch fastball called strike. Now I’m down 0-2 and I’m looking in pretty bad shape. What the pitcher should have done was to throw something outside the zone, probably a fastball to get me to chase. If I hadn’t swung yet he should have figured I was beating myself up inside for not swinging and getting down 0-2. Now I was relaxed, calm and confident at the plate because I knew which pitch was coming. Here it goes the ol deuce breaking at me then right into the zone, pop weak bloop hit to right field.

Another thing is if someone isn’t up to your fastball and behind, throw your fastball until he at least fouls it off. Especially at the high school level I see it way too much pitcher blows 2 by him then gives him the slow curve and there goes a hit. Don’t be like that, give him something to chase. Something outside a bit see if he bites. If it doens’t work then come with the curve. But if you have confidence in your curve it’s a good pitch 0-2. Just don’t throw it and have a hitter make contact when he was way behind your fastball.

One more thing that bothers me at the plate is the shaking off all your pitches to come back to your first one. This is such a pain because it can really fool a hitter when he really has no clue.